US Inflation for February will be big

Here's a screencap of my spreadsheet.

Monthly M0 grew in February by 8.1%, which means an annualised increase of 97.24%.

There are only three other monthly results since 1954 (where my M0 figures begin) when M0 increased faster than this, and that was October 2008, November 2008 and December 2008 during the market panic of that period. Those three months were also beset with some very severe deflation. It was this huge increase in liquidity by the Fed which helped prevent a deflationary collapse. Put simply, the inflationary pressure caused by the increase in M0 was able to balance out the deflationary effect of the crisis.

Since we're not in a similar situation (ie not in an imminent credit crisis), February's sizable M0 increase (the fourth largest in history) would have a large inflationary effect.

On the surface, annual inflation is still benign:
  • November 1.1%
  • December 1.4%
  • January 1.7%
Yet these annual figures hide the monthly results which, annualised, are:
  • November 1.5%
  • December 5.2%
  • January 4.8%
All these figures you can see on the screencap link to my spreadsheet I've given. And if you have checked that out you will also see the notation "QE2" to the far right of the November row. QE2 is, of course, the announcement by Ben Bernanke that the Fed will create $600 billion of money by fiat and use it to buy back government bonds.

Oil prices have popped up, partly due to Libya but mainly due to supply issues (ie Peak Oil), which means that the inflationary effect of QE2 will run straight into the inflationary effect of high oil prices. Bad news for the recovery.

No comments: